I believe this because I think the quality of life in general is impacted by relationships, thus so is the quality of education. As a child I wanted to be a teacher for many reasons, but two relationship stand out most the most. It is true what Maya Angelou said “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” I first wanted to be a teacher because of how my third grade teacher made me feel when she took an interest in me. No matter what was going on at home, I felt comfortable and happy when I got to school and much of the time I preferred to be at school. Then, the following year my relationship with my mom impacted my desire to be a teacher. My parents divorced that year and I then was raised by a single mom. I wanted to be a teacher to share in the activities, interests, and love for learning with as many children I could know, as well as my own. I didn’t want my children to miss me like I missed my mom when I came home to an empty house. I missed my relationship with my mom and was positively impacted from my relationship with my teacher during this difficult time, both instilling the impact of relationships.
Now as a mother, with experiences in a variety of positions in education, I found two more relationships impacting my beliefs. I have experienced many years of calls from school and my son being asked to stand outside because of his behaviors due to ADHD. My son came home with a joke his fifth teacher said “you are going to have to start paying rent for that space outside the door.” Perhaps he felt it funny because because everyone knew his performed high academically, but while my son tried to laugh it off, I could not. When a child is excluded from educational setting their trust in teachers and their school diminishes because there is not enough respect for them as people to invest in a relationship and understand their learning needs. Similarly, in the isolating field of Special Education, I find myself working tirelessly to advocate for my own professional development as I have to do for my students access to learning. When excluded from relationships and collaboration, both teachers and students suffer. Here I believe I have to be the change I want see through one relationship at a time in education.